A devastating performance enabled Chesterfield to overwhelm leaders Ticknall and replace them at the top of the Derbyshire County League’s Premier Division.
After bowling out reigning champions Ticknall for 158 at Queen’s Park, Chesterfield powered to a comprehensive seven-wicket victory as early as the 30th over with county players Ben Slater and Matt Critchley both making half-centuries.
The Chesterfield bowlers were well on top from the start as a result of an unusual, but wonderful, stumping by animated wicketkeeper David Hunt. Standing back to fast bowler Paul Holmes, he spotted batsman Ton Wood slightly out of his crease and threw the ball at the stumps for a typical piece of top glovework.
This first wicket fell at ten and was followed by another on 24. Richard Brown joined opener Paul Borrington and they stabilised the innings with a partnership of 58 but, thanks to tight bowling, these runs took 20 overs.
Captain Borrington made 54 (seven fours), but when he departed, courtesy of a ripper from Adam Woodhouse, Ticknall were 98-4 from 30 overs and the Chesterfield attack were in no mood to let the away side off the hook.
Woodhouse then took a good catch off spinner Critchley (2-29 in 12 overs), who proved difficult to deal with throughout his spell.
And the rest was left largely to South African seamer Justin Dill, who had bowled well with little luck in his opening spell but returned to the attack, this time from the pavilion end, and finished with figures of 4-33 from 12 overs.
The Ticknall demise was hurried along by a fine piece of boundary fielding when a throw from Paul Holmes ran out Sam Trotman (15).
Slater and Callum Hiron opened Chesterfield’s reply and quickly got into their stride. The 50 came up after only 39 balls and Ticknall’s struggles were illustrated by them utilising four bowlers in the first eight overs.
The first wicket fell at 66 when the increasingly confident and consistent Hiron was out for a good run-a-ball 29, and a second followed in the next over when skipper Alex Hibbert fell for one.
But that merely brought Critchley to the crease to join Slater, who was firing runs to all parts of the ground in his usual, classic style.
When Slater was out for 53, including ten fours, with the score on 95-3, there was still work to be done. But Andrew Parkin–Coates (13no), who had earlier bowled well, intelligently played the anchor role to allow Critchley to score freely, which he duly obliged with a fine 57no (one six and nine fours). The pair stayed together to seal the victory with an unbroken stand for the fourth wicket of 65.
Chesterfield could be well pleased with their display. Everyone played their part, with some terrific skill and effort in the field giving their bowlers confidence. This Saturday, they travel to meet Spondon (12 noon start).